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The New York Mets have traded NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in a seven-player deal.
Toronto acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and catcher John Buck a Taylorsville High School graduate plus minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
Earlier in the day, Dickey and the busy Blue Jays agreed to a new contract, clearing the way for the Mets to send him to a team that's spending a lot of money trying to join baseball's elite.
Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year. The Mets began to look at trade possibilities for the 20-game winner when the sides couldn't agree to extend his deal for two more seasons.
Toronto said his contract from 2013-15 is worth $29 million and has a club option for 2016 at $12 million. Dickey needed to pass a physical before the teams announced the deal.
Dickey posted a statement on Twitter thanking Mets fans for their backing.
"Now that its official, I want to say that I don't have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support," Dickey posted on Twitter. "Thank you for making me feel wanted. Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays."
Dickey was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season, capping his rapid rise from the majors' scrap heap to an ace pitcher. He did it by perfecting a way to throw his floater faster than previous knuckleballers, and tossing it with exceptional control.
Around the horn
Athletics • Oakland has agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions to a $6.5 million, two-year contract. Nakajima, a seven-time Pacific League All-Star, has a .302 batting average with 149 home runs, 664 RBIs and 134 stolen bases over 11 seasons with Seibu.
Indians • Free agent Nick Swisher is visiting Cleveland, which has a hole to fill in right field. Swisher played the past four seasons for the Yankees. Last week, the Indians traded right fielder Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati as part of a three-team, nine-player deal.
Astros • Houston signed veteran Carlos Pena to be its designated hitter, addressing a key need as it prepares for its first season in the American League. The 34-year-old Pena hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2012 with Tampa Bay.